I’m a Garden Designer!

The more observant among you will have noticed I’ve been dropping references to my sister site into the last few posts. This year I finished my post graduate diploma in garden design (with distinction, no less!) I’m now a fully qualified garden designer, and I’ve set myself up in business under the name Strelitzia Garden Design (from Strelitzia reginae, or the bird of paradise flower). Here’s my logo…

What do you think?

I have a new website dedicated to the business (www.strelitziadesign.uk) with a blog attached. For now, I’m running the two blogs in parallel, but I’m thinking of pulling the plug on ‘Pulling Weeds’, and merging all of my content on Strelitzia. I’ll keep you posted on that.

My design portfolio consists of the projects I did for the course, but I intend to gradually replace them with live projects. I’m also working up the design for my own garden as the main portfolio project, the advantage being that I will be able to illustrate it with photos from the garden (once I’ve finished building it) and also show how it develops over the years. Obviously I’ll have full access to my own garden – something I would be unlikely to enjoy with commercial projects. This is my colour visualisation of the concept plan…

As you can see, it’s a very full design, with a mini orchard, ornamental trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders, a veg plot (with compost bins), herb beds, a pergola for climbers, a greenhouse, and a wildlife pond. Just as well it’s a large plot! The beds are deep – up to three metres in places – to allow for plenty of plants. This is definitely a design for plant lovers! it’s a mix of the formal and informal. The main area of grass, under the fruit trees (apple, pear, plum and damson) will be a wildflower meadow. A formal grass path edged with low box hedging will lead up from the house, with straight lines and angular offsets to keep the destination (a patio, and an arbour under the large birch tree at the end) from sight until you turn into the final straight. You could say it defines a journey through the garden, adding an air of mystery (if you wanted to squeeze two design cliches into one sentence). This effect will become evident as the garden matures, and the plants become fuller.

This is the front garden…

The hedging, tree and shrubs on the south side were there already. The rest was gravel. Working around the existing driveway, the design re-instates the lawn that was there a few years ago, but this time as a wildflower meadow (with added cultivated bulbs such as tulips and alliums). A new beech hedge around the boundary will take away the harshness of the bare wall and fence, muffle noise, and help to filter the wind that blows in across the fields. Two new trees in the meadow – a rowan (Sorbus aucuparia ‘Eastern Promise’) and a field maple (Acer campestre) will provide more cover and interest at a higher level.

As you’ll know if you’re not new to this blog, I’m quite a long way through implementing the design, although there’s plenty left to do. The planting areas have been my priority; to get the plants settled in to their new home so they can get growing. The front garden is done now. In the back, I’ve just got two more beds that I’m working on at the moment. The hard landscaping of the paths and patios will have to be done as and when.

It’s becoming more difficult to get work done outside now that there’s so little daylight, and the weather is either too wet, or too frosty to work. Progress has slowed down somewhat. But if I can get all of the beds made and planted before spring, I’ll be satisfied with my progress.

text & images ©Graham Wright

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